A new Chatham House briefing paper co-authored by Ginny Hill examines the relationships between Yemen and its Gulf neighbors as political change sweeps the region. Yemen and the Gulf States: Elite Politics, Street Protests and Regional Diplomacy examines how these changes will affect the predominant elite political structures which have defined regional diplomacy for so long. The paper also analyses the critical role of powerful trading bloc, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in addressing the security risks posed by the situation in Yemen.
An excerpt from the briefing paper follows:
"The current political crisis in Yemen follows a simultaneous loss of faith in the legitimacy of the government, the established opposition and the parliamentary framework. Power has been only partially structured through government ministries, with key decisions taken by an unaccountable elite. President Saleh has straddled both formal and informal power structures. Even different army divisions have not always acted entirely as instruments of the formal state. As a result, Yemen has become a contested space, where ‘different concepts of legitimacy coexist and compete’ and the shift to violence expresses ‘people’s sense of alienation from the formal state’."
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